Raptors at Bobcats game-day Dino-bytes
The usual post-shootaround look at tonight’s Raptors-Bobcats game.
TORONTO (26-41) at CHARLOTTE (15-52)
Time Warner Cable Arena
TIPOFF: 7 p.m.
TV: Sportsnet; RADIO: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
WEB: Indeed, we’ll be here just before 7 p.m. for all the fun and interactivity of an in-game blog.
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas; Charlotte: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts, Bismack Biyombo.
Key backups tonight
Toronto: Terrence Ross (should get big minutes against young team), Sebastian Telfair (has usurped John Lucas as backup PG); Charlotte: Ben Gordon (let the shooting begin!), Jannero Pargo (veteran backup PG has something to prove on 10-day deal).
Toronto leads, 2-1
Aside from a blip in Charlotte early in the season, the Raptors have kind of dominated. Just last week – in a game memorable for no particular reason – the Raptors pulled away for a 92-78 win.
But it’s not like they dominate in Charlotte; the Bobcats lead the all-time series 8-7 and have won four in a row at home.
What happened this morning?
It’s hard to find specific things to chat about these days without taking the longer-term future into consideration today and Dwane finally dropped on us the “evaluation” point of the final 15 games.
“These last 15 games we want to measure who we are, how we want to ply, evaluate who we have on the roster and play the game the right way” he said.
“We’re not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs until we’re six out and there’s only five games … so we have to play like we’re playing for something. And, again, it carries over to next year, that’s kind of the foundation we want to build.”
The kids are okay?
Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross are both averaging more than 10 points a game and each is shooting better than 50 per cent from the field over the last five games.
Toronto is 2-3 in those five games.
What’s up with Charlotte?
Rick Bonnell chronicles the new kids on the block in this offering from this morning’s Observer.
Men – and women – in charge
Because we provide all kinds of info here, tonight’s officials are Zach Zarba, Mark Lindsay and Violet Palmer.
And, yes, those with good memories – and no lives – will recall that Palmer was on the very first “Hey, Raptors, we’re sorry we blew the call crew” here in Charlotte way back in the day.
A stat that may or may not matter
In three games against Charlotte this season, Toronto has committed 46 turnovers. Yes, that is a lot.